If you’ve been reading blog then it’s probably evident at this point that I am trying my best not to spend money. Let me correct that—not spend money unnecessarily. This is surprisingly hard and I don’t blame anyone that falls into the trap of retail therapy as I have many times before. I've written posts on minimalism and on why to get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you value in your life, but today I am going to discuss how to completely avoid being sucked into the downward spiral of shopping for pleasure as opposed to necessity. When I say necessity, I don’t mean only buying food or underwear; necessity can be anything you think is valuable and intentional. What I am trying to avoid—as I’m sure many people are—is buying things for the sake of buying them or to feel the rush of a new purchase when the day isn’t going so well.
Much like a comfort eater I am a comfort shopper. I have significantly curtailed this habit, but still itch for another hit every once in a while. Maybe a new shirt or some makeup that might be completely superfluous, but someone in a Youtube video said it was good once. I can be triggered by simply walking by a store, which will usually lead to me spending money on something I don’t need and then subsequently feeling guilty every time I wear it.
This ends today!
This post will outline a few techniques I use to curb the cravings for anything new or unnecessary. Of course, these are all my opinions and what works for me, so I’d love to hear any new suggestions.
1) Avoid malls
Out of sight, out of mind. Without forcing yourself into a building that is literally just for the purpose of consumption, you won’t feel compelled to participate in it.
2) Keep an eye on your accounts
Without keeping track of your finances and knowing what you have, it’s easier to just assume everything is fine and splurge. But by keeping an eye on your accounts you are making yourself accountable instead of oblivious of what you can and can’t afford.
3) Think about what the item is rather than how it makes you feel
Emotions are powerful, but not everlasting. That can be proven with a quick look through my yearbook at my high school crushes.
4) If it’s something you really want, try and find it for a cheaper price
Too often I’ll settle for a ridiculous price because I think that’s the best I can get, or I’m not willing to make the effort and track down the item from a different retailer. However, it's quite satisfying when you are able to find something for much less than you originally saw it listed at.
5) Put old things to use
If the recent Normcore trend is any indication then you’ll realize that things came back into style eventually. So, some of those items you had shoved in the back of your closet? Try giving them another chance. It might rekindle your love for them or solidify your distaste and you can get rid of them permanently.
6) If someone you know already has a device or product that you are thinking of buying, ask them to borrow it or try it out before purchasing it yourself
This is a great way to see if you actually like the item or are just buying it for trivial reasons, leading you to forget about it much faster than if it's of actual value to you.
7) If you find something that you want to buy, give yourself a week to sit on it and decide if you do really want it
Most of the time, I’ll realize that I don’t really need the item if I take some time to really think about it. If I find that it’s still on my mind by the end of the week then I’ll make effort to buy it.
8) Learn how to sew
This has been a very useful skill, especially for saving money on clothes that could easily be fixed. I now don’t see the need to buy a new shirt if the one I own simply has a hole in it; I can just fix it myself.
9) Quality is key
If you’re going to buy something, makes sure the quality is decent, that way it’ll last much longer and be worth the money you put into it.
10) Get an outsider's perspective
It’s easy to convince yourself you need something when you don’t. It happens often that I’ll try something on, think it looks fine and then never wear it because I've suddenly realized sits awkwardly on my body. A second opinion can help you avoid spending the time and money on something you’ll dislike down the line.
All that being said, in case you haven't noticed, most of the photos I take for this blog have all the same items in them. This is done to create a unified theme and also because I don't really own many things. I've decided to compile a list of these items since I've been using them almost every day for a few years now. These genuinely work for me and make me feel like the money I put toward them is justified. If you're interested in what encompasses my daily life then have a look at my Kat's Favourites page.
Let me know what items you find valuable and worth the money or any tips you have to avoid spending unnecessarily.